The state government has introduced Social Security Yojana by converging five separate beneficiary schemes for workers in unorganised sectors and self-employed people.
Around 5 crore people will be benefitted with the introduction of Social Security Yojana with around 1 crore direct beneficiaries. People will be deriving more benefits with the introduction of the new one compared to that of the previous five different schemes.
Amit Mitra, the state Finance minister, said: "The decision in this regard was taken up in Monday's Cabinet meeting headed by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. State Assistance Scheme for Provident Fund for Unorganised Sector, West Bengal Unorganised Sector workers' Health Security Scheme, Secoail Security scheme for Construction Workers, West Bengal Transport Workers Social Security Scheme and West Bengal Bidi Workers Welfare Scheme are being converged."
It may be mentioned that the schemes were being introduced since 2000. Interestingly, the erstwhile Left Front government had managed to spend only Rs 9 crore to provide benefits to workers in unorganised sector and those are self employed under the schemes till 2011. In between 2011 to 2016, Mamata Banerjee government has spent Rs 880 crore to bring in more than 85 lakh people under the schemes.
Mitra said workers from 46 different unorganised sectors including bidi workers, book binding workers, motor mechanics, boatmen and ICDS workers will be getting the benefit. Self employed people from 15 different sectors including jewellery manufacturing sector and amins will also come under the yojana.
There will be education benefits for children of the workers enrolled with the scheme. Beneficiaries will also get support for marriage of their two daughters besides getting health cards and other benefits.
Sources said that it came to the knowledge of the state government that members of the same family were deriving same benefits under different schemes of different department of the state government. Thus, this is another reason to converge all these five schemes.
With introduction of the Social Security Yojana by converging five separate beneficiary schemes the people will be benefitted more. It is learnt that a common
beneficiary programme is prepared for all the sectors and accordingly workers from each of the sectors and their family members will be benefitted.
The state government has also decided to introduce State Nutrition Mission. The step has been taken to ensure distribution of nutritional food among pregnant women, lactating mothers, children below six years and adolescent girls.
Mitra said this decision has also been taken in the Cabinet meeting on Monday. The Chief Minister spoke to representatives of Unicef and the organisation is working together with the state government in implementing the State Nutrition Mission.